Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Preview

The latest Resident Evil spin-off is headed to the world of co-op shooters. We see how it's coming along.

by

While co-op is nothing new to any Resident Evil fan who took part in Chris and Sheva's Great African Safari of 2009, the recently announced Operation Raccoon City represents what might just be the boldest leap the series has made into the world of online teamwork. It's a third-person shooter with a story campaign that will see teams of four players make their way through the titular Raccoon City zombie outbreak that provided the setting for Resident Evil 2 way back when. In an odd reversal from that particular game, you'll actually be assuming the role of Umbrella Corporation's special security troops--each relying on one another's class-specific abilities--in a hunt for Leon Kennedy.

Operation Raccoon City is being developed by Slant Six, a studio whose history thus far consists entirely of SOCOM games. That background is evident the moment you pick up a controller because Operation Raccoon City feels much more like a traditional third-person shooter than any recent Resident Evil game. There's a cover system, you can actually fire while running, and the whole thing moves at a much faster clip than what you've come to expect from anything bearing the Resident Evil name. The new and the old have a way of intersecting in some interesting ways, like when you peer down your gun's iron sights only to pull back and notice a lot more zombies surrounding you than before.

However, don't mistake this for some bog-standard military shooter. There have been some pretty huge changes made to the standard Resident Evil formula, but it's still a Resident Evil game. In fact, in a lot of ways, it's a game that harks back to earlier titles in the history of the series--back before this newfangled daylight business became all the rage. What we saw of the co-op campaign showed zombies doing their shambling thing in dimly lit city streets and shadowy alleyways, with no shortage of dark corners housing who-knows-what. It is clear that Capcom and Slant Six want to return to the horror roots of the series and use that as a contrast to the more fast-paced shooter action.

Hello, Mr. Hunter!

Said shooter action can be played in a variety of styles, depending on which character you choose. In the co-op campaign, you'll be joining up with Umbrella Corporation's black ops/tier one/really-good-at-shooting-guns security squad. There are four characters to choose from, each with what Capcom says will be distinct skills and personality. Their names, in order of ascending awesomeness, are: Vector, Spectre, Bertha, and Beltway. Vector's the stealth expert; Spectre is the surveillance guy who can use infrared goggles to sniff out special enemies; Bertha is the medic; and Beltway is the heavy who excels in demolitions work. Capcom insists that the campaign is designed in such a way that everyone will need to rely on one another, though we didn't get to see much of those class-specific skills in action during the brief campaign demo.

We did see a lot of shooting, though. It seems the streets of Raccoon City have seen a noticeable uptick in zombie infestation since the events of Resident Evil 2. There are swarms of normal zombies that aren't an especially huge threat until you begin to take damage. That's when they can smell danger and begin to charge after you in full force. Aside from them, there are some more uncommon special zombies that roam around, including some pulled directly from early Resident Evil, such as the hunter. And, naturally, when you do find yourself feeling a little worse for the wear after all this zombie fighting, you'll still find random green herbs scattered around the darkened alleys. The city may be overrun by zombies and perpetual darkness, but it's still a fine place to grow medicinal herbs.

"Daddy, why is Psycho Mantis hugging that angry police man?"

In addition to the story-based co-op campaign in which you play as the bad guys in a hunt for Leon Kennedy, you'll be able to slaughter dozens of shambling zombies in a competitive mode. In this scenario, it's once again the four class-based Umbrella Corp. employees against four similarly talented US military spec ops soldiers. As in most zombie outbreaks, the military has been sent into quarantine the area, but it has found quite a bit of opposition from Umbrella Corporation, so now it has no choice but to team deathmatch one another in a battle of supremacy. What's interesting about the competitive mode is that there are still plenty of zombies roaming around that couldn't care less whether you're on one team or the other. It's a points-based contest in which you get one point for a zombie kill, 10 points for killing an enemy teammate, and so on, based on good deeds you do for the team and special zombie types killed.

So all of this is more or less what you can expect from Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. The elephant in the middle of the room is certainly this game's resemblance to Left 4 Dead--another zombie apocalypse series with four-player co-op. Anyone who has played the Left 4 Dead series knows what a high bar was set for any game trying to imitate it. But whereas Left 4 Dead built a lot of its success on varied makeshift weaponry and a profoundly awesome sense of humor, Capcom seems to be banking on the class system and the more serious atmosphere that distinguishes this game from the competition. We'll see how it all turns out when we get closer to the game's release later this year.

Discussion

407 comments
Hernilious
Hernilious

Stop whining! This looks like it has plenty of potential.

neno2480
neno2480

I'm sure it was said before. It can't be a survival horror game if you take away the survival and the HORROR. RE5 took away both. I'm glad to see SOME steps back into the correct direction. Now, bring RE6 back to the roots. Scare the crap out of me and make me barely able to survive the game AND if you want to make an online co-op thing like this, I'm fine with it. kthanksbye

Jimbowesker
Jimbowesker

God bless regular zombies no Ganados or African Warriors. The T-Virus and G-Virus are my hero!!

sam85_
sam85_

might be good! I didn't like RE5

Reyveign
Reyveign

I'm on the fence, still. Until I see some gameplay videos I'm gonna use the card - "Looks like Left 4 Dead". Being a Resident Evil game makes it more appealing to me, but text previews & stilled images won't be proving to me it's an awesome game. And on a side note, is there some sort of crime to having to survive a zombie apocalypse by yourself? That's part of what made the old zombie games so thrilling. You could really only rely on yourself. Nobody was gonna come & rescue you. Taking that out eliminates half of the excitement. But the new generation just HAS to do everything with a group of friends....

Cidious84
Cidious84

Zombies are back...I missed the T-virus.

Dominic_18
Dominic_18

i kinda got bored of Resident Evil games , they are all the same they just make some few changes and make the graphics better , i hope they change the gameplay and shooting control type

Nodyoxide
Nodyoxide

I think I'll pass .. I'll just wait for RE6

staring_death
staring_death

I don't know, normally, being the bad guys, and still be the winning bad guys at the end will generate some bad reputation, developers won't make that social mistake (and gaming community bright Idea!!!) maybe at the end all 4 characters will die, or most of them will suddenly take a change of heart and become the last minute hero! but still... I'll definitely buy this one, at least it has a better sense of story direction than RE5! I'd never trade classic zombies for any other kind. welcome back my lovely creatures! :D

mdchapel9
mdchapel9

Wonder if there's going offline coop.

the_jimster_1
the_jimster_1

It says "Capcom insists that the campaign is designed in such a way that everyone will need to rely on one another", so would make it really good to not be able to get some places until a certain character does something maybe?? :)

xophaser
xophaser

is it a survival horror, there are plenty of shooter games out there. Obviously this will be a soccom in a RE envirnoment type game no doubt.

2DFighter84
2DFighter84

i woulda prefered a game that was more like the Lost in Nightmares DLC. this game seems too far off of what i expect from Resident Evil. it'll probably be a decent game, but i won't be gettin' that RE fix from it.

19sls91
19sls91

I'm sure I will check this one out too, but it's a shame what the series has evolved (or devolved) to. RE1 was ground-breaking and revolutionary for the time. It was survival horror, not survival shooter. It's sad to think that RE is now just another run-of-the-mill shooter.

lujanr32
lujanr32

im gonna preorder this, i love resident evil

cre8tive9
cre8tive9

Looks really good can wait to try it out and see what they've change and keep from resident evil series :)

88cool
88cool

this game looks sweet, looking forward to buying it when it comes out

yixingtpot
yixingtpot

The game will probably be better than RE5.

Vrygar777
Vrygar777

They need to remake RE2 and make it play like RE2 except add more stuff in it. This whole laser targeting thing has killed what made Resident Evil, Resident Evil. It took out the horror element and turned it into an action one. And before you say "but this one focuse's on horror" i'll say this, a 4-player co-op game is not going to be very scary, especially when everyone is shouting back and forth at each other "give me the green herb! or "hey, that was my kill!"

digilobe
digilobe

First, the impression toward to this game was a bit weak. Afterthought, I think there might be a great potentiality in this game. I hope it turns into a good outcome.

Martin_killer
Martin_killer

Gonna check this out. Why? Casue I get a chance to be a villain for once. :D

WillyChong
WillyChong

Hmmm, alright I think this game might worth something after of all the crappy overused first person shooter and PC gears of war disappointed hype

Clive-Owen
Clive-Owen

good to finally let go of that nervewrecking shooting mechanic!

s2k_pogi
s2k_pogi

To make this game great, it should have a destructible environment and nice audio for a thrilling experience. Making such games needs a gamer to feel what he's playing...Can't wait for this, new gameplay, and new RESIDENT EVIL.

Rovelius
Rovelius

@deltamirage Homecoming had a lot of action :P

deltamirage
deltamirage

@Rovelius Are you sure you and I have played the same Silent Hill? Because if we have I don't know what you're getting at. @NoLifeGamin Yah those DLC's where what RE5 should have been. They where almost nothing like RE5, so I don't see how that strengthens your point.

desfrat
desfrat

mmm its cool having it on 3d, but in gameplay environments, etc, will be exactly the same, if they wanted to do something completly new they could have started from 0, making new gameplay modes, or a new story, i don't know, any game released for the 3ds will be in 3d so residen evil should outsmart them and not take the 3d factor as a new cool extra because their competition will be equiped with the same feature... Still it will be cool to be able to play the mercenaries while taking a crap with the portable console...

bloodwolf666XD
bloodwolf666XD

Mercenaries 3D is new cuz its the first 3D resident evil game (that i know of so far) and its not just a secondary game, It is a game all by it self. Also its coming only to the Nintendo 3DS, i know there have a RE for the Ds, but not the 3DS where it will be in 3D, which i thank is cool lol.

desfrat
desfrat

"We are trying things that have never been tried before, for an instance, we got Resident evil the mercenaries 3d" The mercenaries was a secondary game that has been in RE since RE4, how is that never tried before????

BabyD117
BabyD117

what the hell..did that dude say or women? but anyways i hope this game brings back the old days of RE..my favorite was RE3 hands down..and maybe this could new idea could take a turn for the better and especially for more RE games in the future

raynimrod
raynimrod

Hmmm, I'm skeptical, but I really hope this game stays true to the root of the RE franchise. I miss the days of being scared out of my skin.

kielkaiser
kielkaiser

no se si este titulo baya a funcionar. es un RESI si. pero no creo que los fanas de la serie se tiren de lleno al el solo pero el titulo.........creo que se te crear una historia nueva a volver al pasado solo para rellenar y rellenar de historias a la ya recontra destruida Raccoon City.

MrRazrWire
MrRazrWire

Well, it seems my hopes for a scary game remotely similar to its roots are dying quickly. Whatever happened to being freaked out of my mind, trying to muster the courage to peek around each corner?? As for the story, unless they want to contradict the entire timeline, you're just getting set up to fail in killing Leon. Honestly Capcom, you're dropping points in my book quickly.

theaznfish
theaznfish

Kinda makes you wonder... why do the people in Capcom want to kill Leon so badly? Is it b/c [as alluded to in RE4] he represents all that is American? O.o Is it b/c he's one of the most successful characters of the franchise? I dunno, it just seems really weird that they're obsessed with killing this particular character. On a side note: I wonder if Ada Wong will make an appearance.

Psy_m_on
Psy_m_on

Lets just hope these differant classes don't mess up the fun. I preffer some sharing item/weapon/gold system. And hopefully we still need to find herbes and stuff and we get a inventory and so on :) I'm rly happy the RE is taking it this way, but i hope for the die hard fans of RE they get what they wish!!

master19148
master19148

why cant capcom just GIVE US A OUTBREAK 3 STOP MAKIN THIS CRAP AND LISTEN TO UR FANS OR JUST REMAKE FOR DLC FOR PSN OR XBLA THERE ARE ALOT OF COMPANIES THAT ARE REMAKIN THERE CLASSIC GAMES AS DLC NOW IF YALL CANT GIVE US A OUTBREAK 3 JUST REMAKE 1 & 2 ITS NOT FAIR HOW USA SEVERS WERE SHUTDOWN BUT THE JAP CAN STILL PLAY THERES TILL THIS DAY GIVE US WAT WE WANT THE ANOTHER SHOT BACK THEN ONLINE WASNT SO BIG NOW ITS ALL ABOUT PLAYIN ONLINE WITH FRIENDS THIS CAN BE A REALLY BIG COME UP

elliott2467
elliott2467

Resident evil outbreak was an amazing what the hell are you talking about...

deathguardian08
deathguardian08

Interesting. I'll probably pick this up, seeing as it has ACTUAL zombies. I didn't get to try the lost in nightmares DLC for RE5 but I believe Capcom put zombies in it? Sadly they decided to screw over PC players by saying no DLC. Still, if (it looks like they will, but who knows what may happen along development) this is released for PC I'll definitely give it a shot. It will be nice to see raccoon city again, even if it does turn out to be a bad game.

Zerosumgame
Zerosumgame

Another RE game! YES, I love how Konami milk the already bankrupt America!

Psychokillaz
Psychokillaz

Hmm, I'll keep an eye on this but I'm not sold yet. I'm a RE fan but idk how an online shooter will do. I remember they tried this on the PS2 with an online RE shooter and it was terrible & failed. It was the only RE game I remember to fail bad. Also Slant Six does not have a good reputation.

Sablicious
Sablicious

Split-screen for all modes or GTFO

smiffy555
smiffy555

@lorddaggeroff Left 4 Dead didn't define anything, it's awful, any game that follows the way of Left 4 Dead is instantly a no sale for me.

crmarine6644
crmarine6644

@ NoLifeGamin Exactly. The RE5 DLC with Chris and Jill is just a tease of what RE5 could have been

mad-at-nintendo
mad-at-nintendo

its about money, survival horror doesnt sell like normal shooters and capcoms trying to make money.

WeskerLogan
WeskerLogan

so the tyrant from RE2 is in this? Badass. he was a pain. September 29-30, 1998 has many timelines as it should..i love all these games! Also Silent Hill (1999) rules!